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You Can Bake Your Own Bread in Just 5 Minutes a Day

By Ole & Shaina Olmanson |

I’ve been on a bread-baking kick lately. I find something cathartic about the process, and the house smells delicious as the bread sits in the oven forming a rust and a soft and chewy interior, perfect for dunking into bowls of hot soup on cold winter nights.

But baking bread takes work, and baking bread daily just seems like a monumental task when you have a job and four kids and all the responsibilities that come along with a job and four kids. That is, until I found Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day by Zoë François and Jeff Hertzberg. Then with just a simple recipe and a 5-quart bucket, I can bake bread just by letting it rest and sticking it in the oven on a daily basis. Genius, really, and easy for anyone looking for a way to make their own bread on a daily basis using real ingredients. Next up? Working in a complete sourdough starter into the recipe.


Artisan White Bread adapted from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
6 1/2 cups (2-pounds) unbleached all-purpose flour (for King Arthur, add 1/4 cup water to the mix)

Prepare the Dough: Mix together water, yeast and salt in a 5-quart bucket or bowl with a lid. Dump all the flour in and stir with a wooden spoon until all the flour is mixed in. Put the lid gently on the bowl and then leave the bowl out for 2 hours to let the dough rise. Once the dough has risen, place it in the refrigerator.

Bake the Dough: Cut off a grapefruit-sized hunk of dough around 16 ounces. (You can use a kitchen scale to measure it.) Form a ball and place the ball on parchment to let it rest for at least 40 minutes. I prefer a 60-minute resting period to get more holes in the interior of the bread and a bit less dense of a loaf.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F with a baking stone on the center rack and a metal pan on the lower rack. Do not use a glass pan, for it will crack when water is added to it.

Slice the top of the dough ball with a sharp blade, 1/4″ deep, several times. Slide the parchment with dough onto the tray and add a cup of hot water to the metal pan below. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove the parchment. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes (total cooking time 30-35 minutes). Crust on the bread should be a golden brown when removed. Allow to sit until bread is room temperature before slicing.

Repeat: Continue to cut off chunks of dough and bake daily with minimal effort.

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About Ole & Shaina Olmanson

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Ole & Shaina Olmanson

Shaina Olmanson is the food writer and home cook behind Food for My Family. Shaina can usually be found in one of three places: cooking, at the computer or behind the camera. These three things occur in the kitchen simultaneously with her four children hanging from her apron strings as she teaches them to cook and the importance of eating locally, seasonally, organically and together. She is a former Babble Food blogger.

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0 thoughts on “You Can Bake Your Own Bread in Just 5 Minutes a Day

  1. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction says:

    I love to bake homemade bread, and I love that this recipe makes it easy and approachable for everyone – even with a busy schedule!

  2. bridget {bake at 350} says:

    I’ve been wanting to try this!!!

  3. Kate says:

    I’ve got the Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes edition and was SO excited to use it and every loaf I made from it has been flat and dense. Despite jiggering the recipe all over the place, seeking feedback on the message boards for their website and doing everything short of waving a magic wand, the result was the same; decent flavor but terrible texture. My disappointment was profound.

    I’m glad you’ve had success. We’ve found another book that works beautifully, and we got a bread machine for our Christmas. Still, I love the concept of those books and wish like mad that it had worked for me.

  4. Theresa says:

    What’s a baking stone? Am I supposed to have one? Do any of you??

  5. Amanda says:

    I am totally going to try this. Thanks for the timely post!!!

  6. You can find baking stones on Amazon or at Target and Walmart, and they aren’t necessary for baking bread, but a heavy pan that conducts heat well will help with you get an even cooking temperature.

  7. Dagmar Bleasdale ~ Dagmar's momsense says:

    I just learned a fool-proof, 1-hour method that’s even easier, no baking stone or bread machine needed!

    http://dagmarbleasdale.com/2010/12/bake-fast-and-easy-bread-in-an-hour/

    I’ve made this bread several times now with the kids and everyone loves it! Cost’s almost nothing.

    Happy baking!
    Dagmar
    Dagmar’s momsense

  8. Michelle (What's Cooking with Kids) says:

    I baked a loaf of bread from this book today! It is so gratifying – but it is time I branch out and try a new one :-)

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